13.1 SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN
In 2007, the municipality consumed 1.52tep/year*inhab, generating approximately 3 Mt of CO2/year. 40%corresponded to the emissions generated by urban dynamics (urban mobility,waste, homes). There was a lack of infrastructures for the use of bicycles and there were no public transportation alternatives to the city bus (tramway).
13.2 ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES
The two major lines of work were promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency and introducing sustainable mobility guidelines in an attempt to get the highest possible percentage of the population and social agents involved in carrying them out. These priorities were established by the City government(led by the Mayor) as advised by ALEM.
Besides reducing energy consumption, the idea was to tackle the problem of mobility that was inherent to this municipality, which is administratively divided into 54 districts around a single main nucleus (the city of Murcia)where 42% of the population lives.
13.3 FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
The measures are aimed at society as a whole. The objectives:
-To know, quantify and reduce GHG emissions.
-To expand plant surface areas (GHG drains).
-To provide incentives for the use of more energy efficient technologies.
-To mitigate the effects of climate change.
-To increase awareness among the population.
The Action Plan proposes 115 actions related to:
-Obtaining data on climate change
-Reducing GHG emissions in: the residential sector, industrial and commercial sector, municipal activities, waste, urban mobility.
-Measuresto minimize the effects of climate change (Increasing greenhouse gas drains,adapting to the greenhouse effect.)
13.4 MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
The measures contemplated in the Action Plan are within municipal competence;however, many of them are undertaken with collaboration from citizens, other social agents and institutions:
-Agencia Local de laEnergía deMurcia-ALEM (Local EnergyAgency of Murcia),advisor and beneficiary of the ELCC implementation.
-Aguas de Murcia, S.A. undertakes some water cycle-related actions.
-Local NGOs (environmental or social in nature), citizen groups and associations were involved through citizens’ debate commissions in the various approved Plans.The NGOs also execute various measures that are subsidized by the City Council.
-Regional Ministry of Public Works: provides financial support.
-Agenciade Gestión de laEnergía de laRegión deMurcia-ARGEM (Region ofMurcia Energy Management Agency): intervenes on mobility and energy projects.
European cooperation to finance ALEM; Covenant of Mayors; Financing for 5 European projects in the areas of energy and mobility.
Participation in several regional, national and European experience exchange networks: Red deMunicipios Sostenibles de laRegión deMurcia-REDMUR (Regionof Murcia Sustainable Municipalities Network); Red Española de Ciudades por elClima (Spanish Network ofCities for Climate); Red deGobiernos Locales+Biodiversidad 2010 (2010Local Governments+Biodiversity Network); Eurocities Network; CIVITAS Network; Plataforma Tecnológica Española delHidrógeno y de las Pilas de Combustible (SpanishHydrogen Technology and Fuel Cells Platform).
Once the ELCC was presented in October ‘07 to Murcia society, it was published on the municipal website and since then it has been open to suggestions and ideas from all citizens. It features a table with 115 actions, the municipal department involved, the time frame and the monitoring indicators adopted as many of them do not have a specific deadline meaning they will be sustained over time and periodically assessed.
The constant information made available to citizens (through the website and press releases) and the call for participation by area/district representatives,neighbourhood representatives, the university, consumer associations,professional associations, business leaders, unions and ecological associations to propose new actions under the ELCC, along with the transparency of its management and access to all information, favour citizen-administration relations, thereby creating a climate of respect, ideas transfer,participation; and in short, social cohesion.
Several citizens' debate commissions have been held both during the ELCC preparation process and in parallel to its implementation with the writing of the Bicycle Framework Plan, the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan-PMUS “Muévete” and the Local Energy Plan, analysing rough drafts, contributing to the diagnosis and writing the final documents as well as helping to design the corresponding action plan.
Giventhe territorial uniqueness of the municipality, suggestions from political representatives of the urban districts/nuclei, those received at the municipal website and those deriving from news in the press have been taken into account.
Local NGOs (by signing different agreements to manage municipal forest areas andmunicipal subsidies) as well as intellectually disabled people and the sociallyexcluded (through collaboration agreements with different associations forming a framework for drawing up contracts for worker training, which has a decisive role in the social-employment integration process and to adopt affirmative action measures related to equal opportunities and non-discrimination)participated in carrying out the ELCC.
We found some difficulties when implementing the ELCC with:
-inter-and intra-administrative coordination
-implementing some of the most important measures as they required changes in habits and behaviour and mobility guidelines that are not always very well-received.
-the high cost of some of the measures which may delay their complete implementation.
13.6 RESULTS ACHIEVED
The results of the 95 actions initiated are:
-88.7km of bike lanes built (the municipality will be served by a 545km network ofroads suitable for cycling); 2km of tramway built, 14 under construction and 30 planned.
-Replacement of traditional traffic lights with LED technology: reducing emissions by 6,142tnCO2/year
-More efficient lighting: saving 72 tnCO2/year
-Bio-diesel for public transportation 28tnCO2/year
-Production of electrical energy at the waste tip biogas plant: saving 15,509 tnCO2/year
-Subsidies to private citizens (31 to promote energy efficiency: saving 1,675: tnCO2/year;19 for solar thermal/photovoltaic installations in homes. saving 20,500 tnCO2/year).Budget: €150,000 /year
-48 municipal photovoltaic thermal solar installations + 25 bus shelters: Total installed power 1,8882 kw
-7municipal thermal solar installations: Total installed power 92MWH/year
-Category B municipal buildings 11tnCO2/year
-Car sharing service: 293 tnCO2/year
-3 municipal solar gardens (15 MW): will save 17,250 tonnes of CO2 a year
-10 energy audits of municipal buildings
-28,943(2008) + 10,603 (2009) trees planted which will help prevent 68,000 tnCO2/year.
-Pedestrianization of 250,000m2 and4 restricted traffic areas (267 streets).
-Greater energy efficiency in transportation and drinking water distribution (RegionalEnergy Award).
-New local laws on renewable energies and energy savings.
-Green contracts: implementation of environmental criteria (energy efficiency,environmental management systems, forest product quality and origins, etc.) in municipal contracts
-Agreements with NGOs to management municipal forest estates.
-Municipal personnel training on efficient driving and using bikes to get around the city.
Financial: The measures implemented have already generated savings in municipal energy consumption and some of them have become a source of revenue for the City (i.e.municipal solar gardens; waste tip biogas plant) and others have generated savings in the consumption of fossil fuels (i.e. a plant that manufactures fuelfrom biogas from the Murcia-East sewage plant, the largest of the 14 in the municipality).
Social and Economic: The involvement of social agents in preparing/monitoring the plans adopted (EnergyForum, Mobility Form, Bicycle Forum), which were approved with broad social and institutional consensus.
They promote transportation means that are cheaper for citizens. Measures such as bicycle rental and the construction of bike lanes or signage on shared roads not only encourage healthy transportation but also help relieve the traffic in the city and are feasible to implement.
The ELCC is responsible for creating 458 jobs.
Cultural: The ELCC does not distinguish between races, sex…, although some actions take into consideration the cultural diversity that exists in the municipality (i.e.subsidies to immigrant groups for talks about renewable energy and energyefficiency).
The Vías Amables (Friendly Roads) project makes use of a network of existing lanes for cycling that runs along the Murciagardens,an eco-system of significant scenic, cultural, faunistic, botanical, etc.value, thereby integrating the rural and urban environment which is used as a sustainable tourism resource.
Environmental: The ELCC is responsible for saving energy and material resources, reducing the emission of GHGs, increasing CO2 drains, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, promoting more sustainable transportation (tramway, bikes, bus), greater social awareness, etc.
Institutional: Suitable municipal ordinances have been created based on the ELCC as well as internal recommendations that affect other municipal departments (Urban Development,Contracts...).
13.8 LESSONS LEARNED
We have learned to:
-Encourage immense social participation when preparing local plans.
-Communicate proposals and decision making processes to the direct representatives of the citizens of the 54 districts.
-Actively participate in different networks (Eurocities; CIVITAS; Red de gobiernoslocales+Biodiversidad 2010, 2010 Local Governments+Biodiversity Network; Redde Ciudades por el Clima, SpanishNetwork of Cities for Climate; Rednacional de Ciudades por laBicicleta, National Cycling Cities Network; Redregional de Municipios Sostenibles-REDMUR, Region of Murcia Sustainable Municipalities Network)
-Include environmental criteria in both the development of different urban planning figures as well as in municipal projects/works/contract specifications (i.e.energy efficiency and resource savings criteria).
Thanks to the ELCC, the environmental awareness and information systems have improved in access to a greater percentage of the population. On the other hand, we have had the opportunity to participate in 5 projects with other European cities(see pg. 7).
Plus,we have been pioneers in some projects on a national level:
-Signing 3 agreements with NGOs to manage municipal forest estates (40ha) through actions to recover the traditional agricultural landscape, rural management of forest masses, reforestation and improved bushycoverage, monitoring/protection of wild fauna and dissemination of the environmental value of the area.
-Local urban hiking path SL-MU 10 "Camina10,000 pasos" (Walk10,000 Steps) to promote urban hiking.
-A 2-year agreement with the Association of Environmental Companies of theRegion of Murcia for an energy savings project in "green businesses".
- Vías Amables Project to establish and post signs indicating alternatives to the main roads in order to use bicycles,making use of garden lanes, secondary roads, etc.
To scale up the experience, some of the measures could be more widely extended and more budgets could be allocated to actions undertaken by social associations and groups leading to greater involvement by the population.
In joining the Spanish Network of Cities for Climate in 2005, Murcia strengthened its commitment to sustainable development and climate protection that it had already been fostering in our municipality since 1995.
The Network (coordinated by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities andProvinces-FEMP) serves as a means of exchange of knowledge and experiences as well as a technical support tool for local governments in Spain.Its basic lines of action are urban mobility, building and planning, energy and waste management.
Thanks to this network, Murcia used two other cities that prepared their strategy as a reference to draw up its own in 2007 which meant adopting a series of measures incorporated into an Action Plan, the implementation of which is included in the ELCC, the current reference that guides municipal activities.
Likewise,our ELCC serves as a stimulus for other municipalities in the region of Murcia and even as a reference for other cities, mainly signatories to the Covenant of Mayors, which is a political commitment to defending the environment which includes the establishment of a work method.
Currently,Murcia is participating in the SURE project:Sustainable Urban Energy in the ENPI Region – towards the Covenant of Mayors, acooperation project under the framework of the European Union Neighbourhood policy (ENPI region), which is part of the CIUDAD (Cooperation in Urban Development andDialogue) programme, the objective of which is to promote the Covenant of Mayors.
Murcia,the only signatory to the Covenant, participates as a partner providing knowledge and experience to the other participants (Polotsk (Belorussia), Salé (Morocco) and Friedrichshafen (Germany)),and advises them on preparing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP), creatinga pilot installation and promoting these measures among the population.
Besides Murcia having joined the other networksmentioned above, its current Presidency of the European Mobility Forum(Eurocities Network) for 2009-11 is worth mentioning. This is the largest network of European cities which was founded in 1986 to offer a platform to which 30 European countries belong so that their members may share knowledge and exchange experiences in order to analyse common problems and develop corporate solutions.
ALEMis part of the executive committee of the Association of Spanish Energy Management Agencies which periodically meets to exchange experiences and new proposals at National Assemblies and AGUAS DE MURCIA is included in the Spanish HydrogenTechnology and Fuel Cells Platform.